On April 10th and 11th, the International House Philadelphia hosted the East Coast’s first ever Korean culture inspired convention! What better way to make Hallyu history than in one of the most influential cities in America’s very own past.
Philadelphia was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. The city itself gave off an aura of mystery, the streets enticing me to explore them. The venue where the convention was being held a great aura of it’s own, the modern building deemed fit to host the event. Upon reaching our destination, we checked in at the registration table to sign ourselves in. Before the excitement began, Team Kmusic took a moment to check out the Vendor’s Corner, where all sorts of goodies were for sale. Haha Haju displayed a large variety of EXO items and accessories. Also on display were clothes from GKK Crew and fun handmade jewelry from Rivendell Designs. With the amazing collection, there was something for everyone!
The convention officially began with the Opening Ceremony, hosted by Damien Warsavage, where the venue and activities were briefly introduced. He explained that Kpop-alypse-Kon pulled in over 100 pre-registration ticket sales, wow! Damien’s introductory speech induced a cheer from the crowd, signaling the beginning of the festivities.
Much fun was to be had in a very informative panel on how to attract a Korean male, hosted by a very handsome gentlemen who had much to say on the matter. Always remember ladies, with enough hard work, you will eventually be noticed. The day continued on with a fun and exciting Korean game session and a discussion about Kdrama male and female leads. The game session was filled with adrenaline as attendees put their heart into the competition, making any game show host proud. As for the Kdrama lead discussion, there were some interesting views on each role. The detailed discussion helped shine a new light on the Kdrama world.
Attendees rallied to the theatre in anticipation of the long-awaited performances. The first performer was none other than Jay Kane, a Philly native and musically talented host of Daily Dose. Graced with the opportunity to watch her warm up, we saw a side of the stage that not many people have. As she practiced, she put her all into the notes even though the seats sat empty. Even during practice, she can’t contain her passion. Jay performed her own custom mash-up of popular songs. Her stage begun with a powerful rendition of the Wonder Girls “Nobody”. She then covered a selection of Apink, EXID, Girl’s Day, Girl’s Generation, and SISTAR songs. Her voice practically distracted me from taking notes. Her heart and soul poured out through her voice as she worked the stage, the crowd cheering for her awe striking performance. Smooth transitions between Korean and English lyrics went almost unnoticed. After her stage, I was given the chance to get to know Mrs. Kane. Kane attends school, all while managing Daily Dose and working with Dramafever! This woman is the embodiment of hard work and we couldn’t be prouder!
Next to grace the stage was Gemini, a San Diego native known for his skillful rap covers of various Korean hip hop songs. Fans screamed and cheered during his performance, many attendees having been anticipating his stage. He opened with his own cover of Illionaire’s “YGGR.” With a range of covers from Jay Park, to Tablo and Zion T., Gemini expressed his past and future through the lyrics that he wrote himself. This performer never failed to impress me with the intensity of his performance. Not for a single second did he slow, his own consciousness seemed to resonate through his raps. What performance is complete without a little fan service? A lucky fan was brought up stage and given the ride of her life and Gemini gifted her with a hot, and definitely not for children, song and dance. What a ride from a man who had never performed on stage before!
The next to grace the stage was Gemini’s friend and fellow performer, Aaron Lim. Aaron, knows for his skilled rap covers, also graced the KCON stage on Day 1! His covers of Amber’s “Shake That Brass” and WINNER Mino’s “I’m Him” set the crowd wild. Even I couldn’t contain myself, since Mino’s solo song is my absolute favorite! Fan service seemed to be a big trend as a new bromance blossomed right before our very eyes, fans going wild for the duo. The KCON opening artist graced us with a performance of his original song, “I Do It”.
The duo performed a special remix of Dok2’s “Your Love”. If you had though there was plenty of fanservice before, this stage threw it over the top! Attendees of KPK 2015 were given the chance to hear the song that Gemini and Aaron produced together. This duo was unstoppable, winning the hearts of many new fans, and ensuring the love of the current ones. There was a certain quality about them at keeps you wanting more. I look forward to seeing what these two will do in the future!
Next up were Destiny and GG! These girls are amazing dancers, as well as staff members in charge of the entity that is KPK! The girls lit a whole different fire in the theatre! GG’s focused and sexy dancing blended perfectly with Destiny’s free flowing attitude! Like yin and yang, there dance covers even made fanboys out of our previous performers! The duo showcased covers of 4Minute’s “미쳐 (Crazy)”, Cross Gene’s “Amazing”,Song Jieun’s “예쁜나이 25살”, Hello Venus’ “Wiggle”, and GD&YB’s “Good Boy”. GG and Destiny each performed solo stages, allowing them to portray their own talents. I hope to one day dance like them, wow! Amazing job ladies!
The final performance of the day was none other than Alan Z! This singer/songwriter sang personal renditions of popular Korean R&B, such as Jay Park’s “Welcome”. Along with these covers were songs of his very own! His original tracks, “Touch and Go”, “Pillow Talk”, and “Distance” gave Alan a chance to show off his skills. The relaxing beats and gripping vocals were enough to make any fan girl cry! A lucky fan was brought on stage and given the VIP treatment and Alan sang a sexy and powerful song for her, showing that nobody can upstage an R&B singer when it comes to the ultimate fan service!
As the day came to a close, the attendees all left in anticipation of the next fun filled day. The first day of Kpop-alypse-Kon 2015 was enough to leave any Kpop fan wanting and wishing for more. The panels and performances went up and over a fan’s expectation. Wow, to think that this was only Day 1.
Make sure to stay tuned with Officially Kmusic for the recap of Day 2 and exclusive interviews from the special guests!
Photos courtesy of Janalee Afonso. Aren’t they awesome?
MORE RELATED ARTICLES